Title: Created for a Purpose
The Point: Before you are born, God designed you with great value.
Get Into the Study
Use the following activity as an alternate introduction to today’s session.
Inc.com recently released a list of 11 of the Year’s Most Beautifully Designed Products of 2016. In their own words, “Excellently designed products don’t just have to look beautiful—they need to perfectly serve their intended purpose as well.” Their list includes products that “nailed both form and function.”
Share with your group a few of the products listed in the article, giving special attention to ones you find most fascinating. Examples include:
- The Wake-up Light will tempt you to toss your alarm clock. It offers a less startling way to awaken with it’s gradually increasing light that mimics the sunrise.
- The Ember mug keeps coffee at an exact temperature for two hours.
- The EcoHelmet, made from recycled paper, is a foldable bicycle helmet that’s as strong as a traditional plastic model.
Ask the following questions to transition to today’s session.
- What kinds of things must a product designer keep in mind as he creates a new product?
- When it comes to products we like to buy, why does good design matter? What are the results of poor design?
- What’s the connection between an item’s design and it’s purpose?
Transition to the session with the following sentences
An item’s design is key to effectively fulfilling it’s purpose. Poor design leads to ineffective, easily discarded products; Good design leads to capable, long-lasting products.
People aren’t products, but we’ve been created by God for a purpose. He has uniquely designed each one of us to be who we are. As such, we hold great value and are fully equipped to fulfill the purpose He has for us: to bring glory to Him.
The Inc.com article can be found here: www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/ss/best-product-designs-of-2016.html.
Study the Bible
Consider using the following illustration to supplement your group’s engagement with Jeremiah 1:4-5.
According to the most recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control, there were 3.978 million babies born in the United States in 2015. That’s roughly 10,989 babies born every day for the entire year.
In this week’s study, we’re reminded that “God has uniquely and wonderfully made each one of us — and God makes no mistakes. He took plenty of time crafting you and me just the way He wants us to be.” That means each person born last year was crafted specifically to God’s exact measurements. All 10,989 brand new tiny humans born into the world each day were created with a different purpose and calling. But each of them was created by a Creator who loves them.
In Jeremiah 1:4-5 we read, “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’” Out of the all the people in the world, God told young, shy Jeremiah that He saw him, and that He set him apart as a prophet — that his purpose was decided long before Jeremiah ever wondered what it was.
It’s easy to believe this for Jeremiah — he was a prophet! But what about us? What about when we know we were one of thousands born in our own country on the day we were born. Do we believe that in the midst of the crowds, we were born with a specific purpose?
— Ashley Emmert wrote this Leader Extra. She is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dogs. Find her at ashleygraceemmert.com or on Twitter @ashgemmert.
- How is the value of an item determined?
- What’s the most valuable item you own?
- What’s something you would consider to be sacred?
- What does Jeremiah 1:4-5 reveal about God’s attention to detail?
- In what specific ways does the Bible indicate that God knows us?
- Compare biblical and worldly views of what makes a human life valuable.
- What is something you love doing? How do you use it to make a difference in the lives of others?
- Does God create every person for a specific purpose or just a select few? Explain.
- Does God have a specific plan for each individual’s life? Or, do some people receive a specific assignments and others a general assignment? Support your answer.
- What would change in your life if you knew God’s specific plan?
- How did Jeremiah feel about being set apart for a specific purpose and why?
- How do you think God would respond to that protest and why?
- What can you be doing for God while you wait to identify His purpose for your life?
- What is the “best” excuse you’ve ever used to avoid doing something?
- What excuses have you heard, or have you used, to dismiss God’s assignment(s) in your life?
- What are some excuses we use today for not doing what God has called us to do?
- What keeps you from believing God wants to use you to do something significant?
- Does God equip every person, or just those who have really important purposes?
- Are some people naturally more valuable because of how God has equipped them? Explain.
- What does it mean for your life that God crafted you just the way He wanted you to be?
- How have you experienced God giving you exactly what you needed to carry out His purpose?
- When has God given you what you need to carry out His purpose?
- How can we know that God has a specific (rather than merely general) plan for our lives?
- What tends to happen when we look around at the plans God has for other people’s lives and compare it to His plan for ourselves?
- Who do you need to stop comparing yourself to?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional:
Here’s a brief five-minute teaching video about this session: Special Focus Session